How to tile a kitchen
Welcome to ‘How to Tile a Kitchen’. The purpose of this article is to help you tile your kitchen, using the minimum amount of knowledge required for ease and speed of construction. This guide will allow you to tile any size or shape kitchen (within reason) without having professional tiling experience.
Where do you start when tiling a kitchen?
To tile a kitchen, you start at the far corner that will be the point farthest away from where you're going to exit. The easiest way to get back is to just keep following the wall until you reach your exit again.
You will need to start with a kitchen that has either been tiled before or at least checked for cracks. This is because it will be impossible to see behind the first tile line if there are cracks in the substrate.
Once you have checked the floor and removed all the old tiles, clean the surface with a grout cleaner. Make sure that there is no sealer on the substrate as it will need to be completely clean for your new tiles to stick properly. If necessary use a dry scouring pad to remove remaining contamination from the tile adhesive or grout.
What tools would I need?
The only tool you will need when tiling a kitchen is a pencil. Try to use one with an eraser so you can keep re-checking your lines.
When it comes to laying the tiles, either nail on or adhesive will be fine depending on the size of your tiles and substrate. If you are using larger tiles it may be more advisable to use adhesive as small nails could crack the tile easily.
What materials would I need?
You will need a bag of thin-set adhesive, a bag of tile coordinating spacers and a measuring tape. It is best to get someone else to help you with this part as it can be difficult working out exactly how much material you will need from the measurements you take. Ask your supplier to help you work it out.
How should I lay the tiles?
Make sure your substrate is clean and dry, then spread a thin layer of adhesive over the surface. Make sure that the entire area has been covered – if there are any gaps it will show through when you come to grout and seal the floor.
How do you prepare a kitchen wall for tiling?
You need to make sure your tiles are firmly stuck to the wall. There are three ways of doing this:
Where should you start when tiling a wall?
You start with the wall you can get to most easily. Depending on where the door is located, this might be one of two walls.
If you have to work around an appliance, such as a stove or fridge, be sure that it is disconnected and removed from the wall before you begin.
As with any tiling project, use a level to make sure your first row of tiles goes on straight.
Place the tile sheets on the adhesive, make sure they line up fairly well at their edges.
Use a wet saw or drywall saw to cut the tiles. You can also break them with a hammer and chisel; this is easier, but it takes more time.
To make sure your seams between the sheets don't line up in an obvious pattern, stagger one sheet in relation to the next.
When you've laid out all the tiles you can cover with the adhesive, spread it over the entire surface of your wall.
Should you start tiling in a corner?
No, you can't start tiling in a corner. You have to begin by measuring your wall and lining it up with the first sheet of tile. If you skip this step, tiles will be harder to cut, set and maintain a level even more so than they already are.
How do you finish kitchen tile edges?
If you don't use a tile saw to cut the edges of your tiles, you'll never be able to make them fit together seamlessly. In fact, you could spend hours trying to shave down the uneven bits with a razor blade and still wind up with gaps between your tiles.
Don't forget, tiling offers an opportunity for creative design. You can paint tiles before or after you set them into the wall. Also, some tiles come with different options for finishing edges, like square-cut ends.
What is the best way to clean kitchen tiles?
You'll need a bucket of warm water and some dish-washing liquid. Mix it all up and scrub down your tiled surfaces with a mop or cloth. Rinse with clean water and dry off your tiles to have them look as good as new.
Do you tile before or after fitting a new kitchen?
For the best results, tile after all your kitchen units have been installed and working properly. Cleaning grout (which is an important part of the process) is much easier when you can wipe it down with ease – and there'll be little chance of damaging your tiles or appliances if you slip.
Do you put adhesive on the tile or wall before tiling?
It's a good idea to put adhesive on the wall before you put the tiles and stick them up. This will prevent any chance of it seeping through and prevent you from being able to clean trails if food or dirt gets stuck in-between them.
Is it hard to tile a kitchen?
It is quite tough, but it's also satisfying to fix your new wall and floor in place. You can actually save some cash when you tile a kitchen yourself – and there are plenty of cheap tools and accessories to help you do so.